Lonesome Coyote survives!

Or:   How Rollie builds his personal mythology from the chains he makes and breaks in the Horse Beatitudes .

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Way out in the wilderness
a Lone Coyote Calls.
Your eyes fix on the shotgun
that's a-hangin' on the wall.

            -B Dylan

Does the government know who you are?
No? . . . Let me help you fix that - and save you $10 at the same time!!!!

Copyright © 1999 - 2007 Bob Persons


Only a Pawn in Their Game!

Copyright © 2011 Bob Persons
March 10, 2011

Think good-feeling slogans are a substitute for research and real thinking? PAWN!

When they manipulate the issues with slogans, it's their game, not yours.
You're only a pawn in their game.

. . .

America, Wisconsin - Welcome to Kansas!

Copyright © 2010 Bob Persons
November 3, 2010 7:00 am CST

Already I can feel the tug - the wealth of the nation flowing upward, out of the pockets of working men and women, retired men and women, unemployed men and women, into the pockets of the already fabulously wealthy.

The news this morning is devastating. Russ Feingold, the best thing in the Senate, the best thing for Wisconsin, acknowledging defeat. Defeat to a man who has presented no plan for how he will accomplish the few things he has promised. Russ, a constitutional scholar, man of integrity voting on principle not party politics, whose stands on the issues have always been thoughtful, whose principles are open for anyone to see, who actually reads legislation in total before voting - brought down by lies, ignorance, and slogans without substance.

  • "Career politician": Yes, Russ was in office for 18 years. But no explanation of why that is bad. Ever think about the influence he has had in the Senate? the committees he has worked on? all of what Wisconsin loses with him gone? You want term limits? Fine. You just got them, through voting, which is the way it should be done, not by legislation. I just wish someone suited to replacing him in office had done it.

  • "Votes the Democratic party line": Just plain lie. Anyone who claims this has obviously not followed his history in office. So many times he pissed off party faithful by voting on principle. Don't like the principle? Fine. Just say that instead of flinging out yet another meaningless slogan.

  • "Another tax and spend Democrat": Another lie. Again, his history in office. Virtually all of his spending bills and proposals and support of others' proposals, include a clause to pay for them.

  • "Out of touch with the people of Wisconsin": Yet another lie. Every year he travels to every portion of the state to listen to what the people have to say. Don't like his answers? Fine. Just say so and articulate why you don't like his answers instead of bouncing another slogan around.

  • Voted for the stimulus package. Yes. Again, a very principled, thoughtful vote. Evaluating advice from economists on how to keep the nation's economy from tipping over the precipice and falling into the chasm. Wrong vote? Fine, just say why, instead of just bundling your response into yet another slogan, "increased spending". Like "cut taxes", meaningless unless you explain why this is good for the country. At least Russ explains why he votes the way he does. Then you can thoughtfully evaluate his record. Unless, of course, you are satisfied with empty slogans.

  • Voted against the PATRIOT Act. Yes, everybody knows that. But how many have actually evaluated his reason for doing so? Not hard to do. He explained himself many many times in public. He agreed with the bulk of the legislation, but felt the invasions of privacy far exceeded the value to security. Take those few provisions out, or modify them, and he would have voted for the act - wanted to vote for it without chipping away at constitutional rights. Did you do that evaluation? Ron Johnson didn't . For him, "Voted against the PATRIOT Act" was sufficient reason to boot Russ out of office.

Removing Russ is the newest egregious case of ordinary people voting against their best interests. I could accept his defeat if a truly worthy candidate had been running against him. Ron Johnson was nothing of the sort. Anybody out there see them face to face answering probing questions? Russ had thoughtful, consistent responses while Ron just trotted out the slogans. (Complain about following the party line? Ron's platform was cut taxes, cut spending, reduce the size of government, with no substance behind it, with no articulated plan for accomplishing these goals - pure Republican nonsense.)

See the pattern here? Republicans as usual revved up the slogan machines to blast peoples' ears with white noise, and the people, convinced by nothing except rallying cries, voted for the slogan machines.

Do you actually believe this new senator is going to lower your taxes? Create jobs? (He says government doesn't create jobs, business does; yet he also says as a senator he will work to create jobs; anyone see the inconsistency here?) Anyone confident he will work to help the unemployed, the retired, the poor and the middle class get out of the mess caused by Wall Street, bankers, and incompetent government oversight, while those very Wall Street entities and bankers now pocket even more of the nation's wealth than before the crisis they caused? Take a look at Russ's record on all of this. Whenever there was a conflict between business interests and you and me, he has always put our interests and needs first. Yet he supported business interests when they benefit the people. That is what government should be doing.

Why am I saying this now? when the shouting is done? when Russ is already a lame duck? Why not say it before the election, in an attempt to sway other citizen votes? Well, actually, I have been saying it, many times. But in the end in today's America, there is no defeating the slogan machines. Apparently not enough Wisconsinites care to think beyond those machines, or care that they are actually voting against their best interests.

So, there you have it. This is what Wisconsin wants, this is what Wisconsin gets, and this is what Wisconsin is foisting on the nation.

America, Wisconsin - Welcome to Kansas!

. . .

Time to impeach 'em all!
(and hang 'em for treason)

Copyright © 2006 Bob Persons
December 9, 2006

As for President Bush and his gang, the ones who are responsible for all this butchery, I insist on impeachment - not as retribution, but to keep the man and his administration from doing further irreparable harm to our nation and our relations with the rest of the world. Add to the colossal blunder of the Iraq war the fact that he broke the law and defiantly continues to do so, with warrantless wiretaps and monitoring of bank transactions. Not to mention the designation, without any review, of large groups of people as "enemy combatants" to be held in prisons for years without trial or access to family or lawyers. The list is endless. With the massive secrecy with which that this administration cloaks its activities, who knows what other egregious assaults on American values this administration is perpetrating?

It will take a generation or more to clean up this mess, and I do not have enough confidence in the Democratic Congress to feel that these monumental problems can be overcome solely in the legislature. The Bush administration must be stopped, and the only way to do that is through impeachment. Yes, it will cost the nation financially and also devote precious resources that could be used elsewhere. But I honestly do not see the destruction ending without it. It would also show the world (more than the recent elections) that the American people have seen what has gone wrong and want to make it right. And, once impeached, the president and his henchmen should be tried for treason. The lies, the egregious transfer of wealth, the corruption, the hoarding of power, and just plain illegal and unconstitutional acts cry out for it. Then, when found guilty, he should be hanged. Then we should follow up with Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz. And Condoleeza Rice ("No one could have imagined ...") should spend the rest of her rich-ass life in prison. We would have done no less with Hitler or Stalin if we had been able to capture them.

. . .

Talk About a Revolution! (Forget the Broom - part 2)

Copyright © 2005 Bob Persons
September 3, 2005
Are you furiously angry yet?

Have you had enough?

Are you ready for a revolution?

Why do Americans put up with this?

Who's the boss, anyway?

Time to Impeach them all!

Letter to my representatives in Congress

Too much dirt for a broom!

What does it take to get Bush out of office?

. . .

Evolution vs Intelligent Design

Copyright © 2005 Bob Persons
October 24, 2005

More Commentary from the Horse Beatitudes ...

And ... a word from the Dark Side - the coming American corporatocracy ...

The Inspection

The New Coffee Machine

The Chocolate Horseman's Last Ride

Hand and Foot:

John McLeod's Card Games Hand and Foot

Roger DeMeritt's Hand & Foot Web Page


   Join Russ Feingold to help end the war

The Best of the News
(Read 'Em & Weep):

Commentary from the Horse Beatitudes:

Environment ¦ Nine-Eleven ¦ The Saga of the Unelected President ¦ Other Political Commentary ¦ Other Stuff

Selected (most recent first):

America, Wisconsin - Welcome to Kansas!

Historic Day for America

RealCon Announces New Amendment

The Iraq Study Group and President Bush

What does it take to get Bush out of office?

Cheney supports NSA wire-tapping

Bush's Hurricane Katrina Rebuild "Plan"

America's Nuclear Weapons Policy

Talk About a Revolution! Forget the Broom - part 2

Government and Corporations - Things to Keep in Mind

Talk About a Revolution! Forget the Broom

Global Warming Overview

Bush Declares End to Law of Gravity

US Determined to Close the Jackass Gap

Principles of election and legislation reforms

Bush Murders Thousands

Bush Adds France to Axis

The Bush: 'Let My People Go!'

Bush Plans War on America!

Cheney Kidnapped!

Other sources:

Number One In News
Number One In News
Tom Tomorrow

The coming of the American corporatocracy


Fort Huachuca? I Remember That

Family Stuff

Places of Power

Man Tree

The End of the Dream?



Dr. Evermor Forever

The Forevertron

The most profound of all religious statements

The infamous Wisconsin Snow Turd!

Lone Coyote Calls' Photos
Lone Coyote Calls' items Go to Lone Coyote Calls' photostream


From the Horse Beatitudes ...

Poems and Songs               Stories


My arrows flung
My beagle walking home
My ghost in armor clanking
At my side
My belt hung low with
Rabbit carcasses bleeding
On my boots My fence and gate
My woman wide
To greet me.

The barley beer
The table laid The steaming pot
The prayers of thanks for bounty
Drain our lips
Shadows hang
From every beam The coat
Hung up before the fire
Hissing from the drips.

My ghost lies creaking Watching
While we eat.

Under the Bristlecone Pine

It is in our nature + our destiny to constantly war with each other (Lords of the Starship). If we destroy ourselves + the planet doing so, then that is the way of the universe. That's one way of looking at it - Krishna's admonition to Arjuna. Life is as it is. Learn what it is, + learn to live without resistance to it.

Another way of looking at it - Jesus' call to humans to revolutionize their spirits, overcome the destructive impulses + work at a new consciousness, build a new society which adds compassion, empathy, love to the old eye-for-eye laws (Andrew Harvey's Son of Man).

So Rollie sits under his tree, dreaming of another consciousness, working out in the model the problems he couldn't face while awake, solving the problems in his dreams + bringing the solutions back. Yeah, he wished. He wished he could just remember what the dreams were, let alone how they solved his problems. Jesus dreamed + brought those dreams back to his life. Arjuna dreamed, and it was his life. Where did Rollie go with this? Where was Jim?

Jim is in the tree. Jim is in the sweat-soaked sand under Rollie's ass. Jim is in the lightning gashing soundlessly above the roiling western sky. Jim's voice is among the chorus that comes with the dust + is gone with Woody's wind. Rollie sees all that - in his desert dream. And then he wakes, + he forgets. He sees only the purple sky, the khaki sand, the sweat + urine pooled under his haunch.

The black bird croaks. The dream is one tattered ribbon flapping from its beak. The black bird flits. Rollie topples to the dust. His red skin gets redder. "I need a shade. I need to get out of the stinking sun. I need some peace." But peace is foreign here, under the bristlecone pine, in the flatiron desert of a mangled continent floating in a cesspool sea under maggot clouds squirming for foothold in the broiling universe of shame. "I need peace!" is just one more black bird croak flung into the grappling heat that churned around him.

He could slit his own throat. He could spread his blood across the stinking sand. He could exhale all the foul odors stored inside him into the polluted oxygen he swam in. He could rip his body to shreds + chunks + let the black bird feast. He could cash in his life insurance policy! He could drive down the river of madness to bomb Toad Hall, toss the money-changers from the Temple, spit on the whited sepulchers, hang himself high on the black bird's tree like Jim did. And the universe would not for a moment give a sigh. Live with that, Arjuna! Live with that, Jesus!

More from the Horse Beatitudes ...


November 11, 2008

Historic Day for America

Copyright © 2008 Bob Persons

Polls are open in the east. New York Times this morning calls it an 'epic campaign'.

Nona and I voted early, at the city clerk's office downtown, a couple weeks ago; waited in line about 45 minutes. I'll miss (for the second pres election in a row) the ambiance of the official polling place, but it wasn't much anyway, and the clerk's office had a good feeling anyway, with theo other voters in line.

Historic. I can't believe Obama will lose. The man has been unstoppable, even with the McCain campaign's focus on dirty tricks the last 2 months.

Historic. First black man as president. Wow! This day has been a long time coming, and about time it happened. Not only a black president, but a well qualified one. Young, but so much enthusiasm, good policies, and calm in the face of a 2-year storm of campaigning.

Historic. A woman picked as vice president material. A vast mistake, as far as I'm concerned, the particular woman picked. Sarah Palin would grate on me for 4 years if McCain won, especially that voice and too- quick-for-thinking responses to questions.

But 8 years of the worst presidency in my lifetime, perhaps all of America's lifetime, have been devastating. 8 years of moving the nation's wealth upward to those already with far more wealth than anyone could possibly use. 8 years of unbelievable incompetence - think Hurricane Katrina, pre- emptive war, the continuing Iraq boondoggle, the failure to tackle al Qaida in their homeland (as they attacked us in our homeland). 8 years of thumbing executive noses at the laws that Congress has passed (they should all be thrown in the clink for a long time, if not hanged for treason). 8 years of monitoring my telephone calls and emails without just cause or warrants. 8 years of rewarding executive and financial incompetence in the public and private worlds. 8 years of crippling deficits and debt piling up, and the worst economic meltdown in 80 years. 8 years of watching America's world reputation sink into the mud. 8 years of watching America's inventiveness, creativity, entrepreneurial expertise, craftsmanship exported to foreign nations. 8 years of continuing to allow, and actually abetting, the deterioration and actual destruction of our environment.

Obama offers real hope of emerging from this mess chastised, re- invigorated, ready to offer real, class-less solutions to problems, ready to lead the world once again with our example of fair mindedness, equality of opportunity, vigorous creativity and craftsmanship.

Al Qaida's main tool in recruiting soldiers to their cause is America's decadence, declining spiritual values, and imposition of policy in the homelands of Muhammad and his followers. We have allowed our nation to slip into that state, a state in which al Qaida carries the truth. It is time for us to recover our original ideal bearings and give the lie to the terrorists' justifications for attacking us. The terrorists may liken themselves to warriors, but they are criminals and murderers and should be approached as such.

John Kerry's proposed policy of fighting an 'intelligent' war in Iraq, although vastly better than the pre-emptive war policies of Bush, should be replaced with a policy of finishing what we need to finish in order to clean up the mess that has been made, then getting our act together to implement policies that will restore America as an admirable leader in the world. And we can attack terrorism with policing policies, not the beloved war machines of the republicans.

More, on the Unelected President ...


June 1, 2005

The President's Culpability in America's Decline

Copyright © 2005 Bob Persons

Mr. President:

For four and one half years I have witnessed what to me is the steady decline of America's principles, integrity, and standing in the world community. Some of this is due to the American people themselves, especially the rampant and growing consumerism that seems to devour us. But the reason I am writing to you is to focus on your egregious role in this decline.

Your lies that promoted the war on Iraq are unconscionable. Your collusion with Tony Blair to pursue this unjust action is, in my mind, criminal. Your post-fact justification of the war by saying its purpose is to bring democracy to the Middle East is not only a lie in itself (it ignores the false reasons you gave in early 2003), it is also an affront to the dignity and intelligence of the American people.

The treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and other prisons is disgusting, un-American, and in violation of American and international standards. To hold these people without charge for years, without access to lawyers or family, and then to torture and even kill them is beyond my comprehension of what America is all about - especially when it is known that many of these people are innocent and were unluckily caught up in a dragnet. Yet you see this as a problem with just a few GIs! Mr. President, if the commanders of those GIs did not know what was going on, they were doing a lousy job. And if their own commanders did not know, they too were doing a lousy job. This goes all the way up the chain of command. It is the duty of officers all the way up to the Commander in Chief to make sure their charges are carrying out legal and just orders that fit within all national and international standards of justice. Yet the only justice served after over a year has been to punish a few low-level scapegoats! I am convinced that you have on your desk a sign that reads "The buck never gets here." This washing your hands of responsibility is disgusting.

Your attitude toward the natural environment that we all live in and can't afford to destroy is beyond my comprehension. There can be no "compromise" between environment and business. If business practises destroy resources, then that destruction must be stopped. Even business must recognize that a healthy environment provides the necessary infrastructure for it to pursue profit. The wealth of natural resources, the air, water, and soil, the forest and mountains, the rivers and lakes, do not belong to business. They belong to the American people to lease to business as it pleases them. And any destruction of those resources must be met with punishment (as a deterrent) and obligation to restore those resources. Yet all your policies regarding the environment seem to be aimed first at protecting business interests. If environmental concerns impede the rapid pursuit of profit, under your programs the environment suffers. And when the environment suffers, all Americans and business ultimately suffer. Your short-sightedness on this matter is disgraceful.

These three issues - the war, the treatment of prisoners, and the environment- are but two in a host of issues that have conspired to bring America to its lowest level of integrity in a century. Another major problem is your notion that you can increase spending while decreasing revenue, at no harm to the nation. Anybody with a home budget and calculator can tell you this is completely bogus. Tie that in with the decreased revenue benefiting already rich folk and corporations, and you have a perversity that serves only to widen even further the gap between rich and poor, labor and management, the power of money and the misery of poverty. But it seems to me that that is exactly what you want. Only the rich in America get to enjoy the riches of America. Mr. President, it's one thing to advocate that every person stand on his own two feet without handouts from the government. It's yet another thing to take handouts from the poor and give them to the rich!

In the midst of all this I hear you proclaim your devotion to faith and the Christian principles you claim guide you. Mr. President, this is utter hypocrisy! You have committed numerous "sins" by the light of those Christian principles. You capitalized on the misery, suffering, and despair of the 9/11 catastrophe to selfishly promote the agenda you've had for America for years. You care so much for the rich and powerful that you conspire with business interests to make them even more rich and powerful. But the poor - well, they can just fend for themselves. You protect those who instigated the torture practises by claiming the documentation for those practises is classified. You claim as your philosophy a "culture of life", ignoring the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Sudanese while pursuing a deceitful war in Iraq that has resulted in over 1,800 Americans dead, countless others wounded, and countless Iraqis dead and wounded. And then you promote reductions in Veterans Administration budgets so returning troops suffer even more. The war was a bald lie. Your Social Security program is a bald lie. Your claims about the economy are bald lies. Mr. President, you are no Christian, so please stop claiming you are. Please stop pandering to those who support you only on your claim to the moral high ground. It's all lies. How many supporters would remain if you took away that false moral high ground?

With all respect to the office you hold, I have to say you are the worst president in America's history. The America that was esteemed by the world as kind, generous, and a source of prosperity for all, has become an aggressor that cares only for its own well being even at the expense of the well being of other nations. I feel shame at what we have become. I am embarrassed every time you represent America when speaking to foreign nations.

The only way you can continue to get away with this extremely un- American program is by fostering the most secretive government since Richard Nixon (and I believe you actually beat him at this). The press is shut out from information they need to properly inform the public of the workings of its government. The Congress is shut out from information it needs to properly assess the programs you are pushing.

Unfortunately, the Congress - the representatives of the people - have been complicit in the downfall of America. They have done this by acceding to your unconstitutional appropriation of the congressional war-making powers, and by not insisting on hard facts and honest analysis for the programs you propose.

The press, too, by and large has failed utterly to protect America from the lies and deceptions that you have employed to bring our nation to this state. It has done this by accepting without proper analysis your rationalizations for war, the economy, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, and a host of other issues which you have gotten just plain wrong but bullheadedly insist on pursuing to the nation's detriment.

I think a major reason this has happened to America is that you have no realistic contact with the American public. You are out of touch with ordinary citizens (those who have little money power). All your meetings and press conferences are packed with your hand-picked supporters, and dissent results in expulsion. You meticulously cultivate your relations with big business while shrugging off any real concern for the welfare of ordinary citizens. You only concern yourself with individual people when you perceive them to have value for your political agenda. Mr. President, that is exactly backwards. Your constitutional duty is to the American people, not to wealth and power, not to the paper entities called corporations.

Mr. President, in none of these arguments do I mean to denigrate the office of the President of the United States. I aimed my arguments at you, the person who currently occupies that office and is duty bound to uphold the Constitution and serve the American people's interests. Once again, Mr. President, you have gotten almost all of it wrong, and the American people are suffering and will continue to suffer enormously because of it.

I would love to have a chat with you sometime, to help resolve the bad feelings I am having regarding the direction my country is headed. Some time when you have vacation time, instead of going to Crawford, come visit Madison, Wisconsin. I will treat you to a turtle sundae at Michael's (the best ice cream in the world!). And maybe you can straighten me out. I would love to be shown I am wrong, because my current condition is near hopelessness for the future of America.

More, on the Unelected President ...


May 25, 2004

The Worst of the Bush Administration:

Impeach Them All!

Copyright © 2004 Bob Persons

So, less than a month after the damning photos were broadcast, the first GI has been charged, tried, convicted, and sentenced for abuse of prisoners in Iraq. It's amazing how fast the government can work when it is trying to contain a world-wide embarrassment. Now we are left with two questions:

  • Why did it took over four months (from the time Mr Rumsfeld first heard the reports) for the government to do anything at all?
  • Will commanders on up through the chain of command to the executive branch and Department of Defense be pursued with the same deliberate speed?

This administration was informed of the abuses over a year ago, and was informed again and again over the past year. This administration admits the activities were wrong. Rumsfeld has known for at least four months. Bush has known for at least 3 months. An investigation was begun, but has plodded on for four months. Only the release of the photos caused anything real to happen. And now, less than a month later, one GI has been accused, tried, convicted, and sentenced with great speed, and others are soon to follow.

It is the business of everyone in the chain of command to know what is going on in the links below. Every one in that chain of command is saying these abuses were terrible violations of international and American rules of wartime conduct, yet none are willing to say they have any responsibility for it. With the level of knowledge that the administration and the DOD had, why did they go public and take action only when forced to by the photos? And do you suppose the responsibility for the abuses will climb the ladder of the chain of command, pointing fingers at those who either knew or should have known because it is their job? How high will the indictments go? On whose desk will we see the sign "The buck stops here"? My impression, based on past experience, is that the desks of Runsfeld, Rice, Wolfowitz, Bush, et al, are positioning themselves to have signs saying "The buck never gets here".

Of all the disgusting things this administration has done to America, this blows the lid completely off its incompetence, mismanagement, and outright lying agenda. Start with the fact that this administration was not elected by the people; it was put in place by fiat from a bunch of lawyers and the Supreme Court. Then it proceeded to alienate our allies, one by one, until we have threadbare and shaky support around the world. Then it dismantles decades of environmental improvements. And it runs up record expenses while giving money away to rich folks. Record deficit. Record job losses. The beginning of the dismantling of the health care system. Decrying big government with one mouth while forcing school systems across the nation into a federal model, sticking its big nose into private American sex lives. Calling themselves conservatives, sworn to uphold the Constitution, while unravelling the fabric of the Bill of Rights with the Patriot Act. Holding people (including Americans) for years without being charged and without communication with family or lawyers. And then subjecting them to inhuman abuses that defy international and national law. Inflicting a large, expensive war on the basis of lies and other manipulations of the facts and information, and having virtually no decent plan for following it up.

The Bush administration is pursuing grand projects that are not in the interests of Americans, and using trickery and deceipt to get the American public on its side.

This is the bunch that claims to be Christian and democratic idealists. The leader of this bunch is a religious zealot who is convinced God is talking to him, and that is why he can never admit being wrong or backtracking on any path he has set foot upon.

It is well past time that this sickness that the Bush administration has inflicted on America is removed. How long must we suffer under a leadership that establishes its national policy on its knees in a dark room and carries out that policy in a darkness that shuts out the American people?

When are Americans going to stand up en masse and say Enough! Throw the bums out! All of them! Before the next election, because we can't stand it any more. Write your congressional representatives, demand that impeachment proceedings be started, to remove the worst cancer on the American government in history and save our country from the black hole it has taken us into.

More, on the Unelected President ...


May 13, 2004


Copyright © 2004 Bob Persons

Questions that blazed through my mind, regarding the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal. Questions that demand answers not fully received yet.

If the Red Cross has been reporting these problems for over a year, why is the public just now finding out about them? Who in the administration's chain of command decided to not make a big deal of it to the public?

Why were appeals from other human rights groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Human Rights First, ignored by L. Paul Bremer and Condoleeza Rice? Did these groups complain to the wrong people in the administration? Do these members of the administration realize they were wrong? If so, why don't they say so? If not, why don't they say why they were justifying in turning deaf ears?

Why did the Secretary of Defense first hear of it in January? Why did he not make a big deal of it to the public? Why did he not read the entire report? Or did he know earlier? If so, why did he not make a big deal of it to the public? If not, why not, and was that a mistake? And why did he not read the entire report?

Why did the President first hear of it in February? Why did he not then make a big deal of it to the public? Or did he know earlier? If so, why did he not make a big deal of it to the public? If not, why not, and was that a mistake?

Why did the Secretary of Defense first see the photos a couple weeks ago? Or did he see them earlier? Did he immediately see them as a big deal to the American public? If so, why didn't he say so then? If not, why not, and was that a mistake?

Why did the President first hear of the photos after they were publicized on TV? Or did he know of them earlier? Did he immediately see them as a big deal to the American public? If so, why didn't he say so then, unambiguously? If not, why not, and was that a mistake?

If investigations into the abuses began in January, why has nothing happened that would be worthy of note to the American people? On the other hand, why did it take a mere a week or so after publication of the photos to produce the first court martial? Is it any surprise to anyone that this court martial is of a low man on the totem pole? Was the speed at which this was accomplished, compared to the five-month produced-nothing investigation, a coincidence? magic? a result of officials falling over themselves to convince the American people they are on top of it?

Did the soldiers commit these abuses on their own? If so, where were the commanders who should have been overseeing the operations? If not, who ordered or encouraged them to do these acts, and will those commanders be held responsible?

Were the soldiers trained in the rules of prisoner treatment? If so, how did they get away with such abuses? If not, why not, and was that a mistake? And how did they get away with such abuses?

Were the commanders given enough resources to adequately oversee the operations they were in charge of? If so, how could they miss what was going on? Or did they approve of what was going on? Or did they turn a blind eye to what was going on? If not, why not, and was that a mistake?

Who was responsible for ensuring that the commanders were adequately supervising prison guards? Did they know what was going on? If so, why did they not stop it? If not, why not?

Were the rules ignored in the hot pursuit of intelligence that might point to the elusive weapons of mass destruction and links to al Qaida and 9/11 in Iraq? If so, is this justification acceptable to the American people? If not, just why were the rules ignored, and was that a mistake?

Why, after over a year of occupation, are we finally getting around to laying down "the foundations of how you detain people in a humane manner," as General Miller explained today? Was this of no importance until now? Was it the release of photos embarrassing to the administration that caused this change of plan? Might there be other atrocious activities going on at this minute, which will continue to go on because no damning photos have been released for Americans to see?

If the Secretary of Defense cannot possibly oversee every detail of what goes on beneath him, was that responsibility delegated somewhere down the chain of command, with reporting coming back up to the Secretary of Defense? If so, what went wrong with this system? and will the Secretary of Defense take responsibility for what went wrong with his chain of command? If not, why not?

If the President charges the Secretary of Defense with overseeing the chain of command that assigns responsibility at every level for the links below, and these abuses occurred rampantly anyway, will the President accept responsibility for the failure, since a single broken link will destroy the entire chain and he is responsible for keeping the chain intact?

If responsibility in the chain of command lies at every link for the links below, will the prison guards share punishment with commanders all the way up the chain instead of becoming scapegoats? Will the President actually let the buck rise to reach his own desk for a change? Will he then proclaim that it assuredly stops there, even if it is pointing directly at him?

Is the press afraid to ask these questions (and a host of others) in a time of war? Is the press afraid to ask these questions because they might alienate their readers? alienate their corporate sponsors? don't have enough newsprint on hand? Is it more concerned with publishing the pictures and reactions to them, than probing the immense system failure that allowed this to happen?

I pass these questions on to Dr KnowItAll. Maybe he knows the answers. ... Or maybe he doesn't.

More, on the Unelected President ...


February 14, 2003

Seven Score and Zero Years Ago

Goodbye, America

Copyright © 2003 Bob Persons
Seven score and zero years ago an American prophet foresaw:

that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

Now the American nation is poised to perish from the earth.

It does not have to be!

The government is no longer of the people, by the people, for the people. Substitute "corporations" for "people". The "conservative" administration ("compassionate" at that) is driving America down into a black hole from which it may take generations to emerge, and the rest of the world will fall like dominos into the same pit.

It is not all Mr. Bush's fault. He would not have the power he wields now, if the people's representatives hadn't caved in and unconstitutonally granted it to him. Blame it, untimately, on the Congress. No, blame it on the people that elected and continue to support the representatives that gave away the people's power over their own nation.

Instead of an America governed by the people, we now have a government controlled by business interests, to the point:

Where mass corruption in the executive offices remains unpunished;

Where government officials are elected by the big money that corporations use to gain their unconstitutional vote;

Where the feel-good term "tax cuts" is used to distract the people from the pickpockets who are cleaning out their pockets and transferring the money to corporations and wealthy patrons;

Where wars are waged to keep the oil flowing into corporate reserves and to generate more business building and endlessly replacing weaponry;

Where continued destruction of our environment is justified as another opportunity for business to make a buck by developing technology to help us "cope" with the ramifications of a devestated environment;

Where a budget dripping in red ink is presented as an opportunity to rebuild a neglected economy, where in a time of economic slump pork jobs too numerous to be counted ride high, where a vast increase in spending is "balanced" with a vast decrease in income, guaranteeing an ever mounting debt over at least the next ten years;

Now, we mount an impossible-to-lose mass of military might for a Valentine's Day Massacre and declare America immune from the guidelines that the rest of the world is expected to follow, resulting in the alienation of our allies and the furor of our enemies to the point where we and they are waving nuclear weapons at each other (just like India and Pakistan, whom we chastised for doing the very same thing). Did the American people ask for this?

Do the American people want their government back? Even if money matters make the most difference, do they really think this is a better mode of living, where money flows from their own pockets into corporate pockets? Do Americans trust their government? If so, why? If not, why not put it back on track?

But first, become familiar with the basic principles underlying our form of government. The Constitution (Section 8) declares that Congress (not the President) has the power:

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

It also declares (Amendment IV):

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

And (Amendment V):

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

We are not at war - yet. Congress has no excuse for abrogating its powers to the executive branch. The President was given emergency powers, but does 1-1/2 years of preparation constitute "emergency"? Congress likewise has no excuse for allowing the violation of the civil rights of citizens. Congress has, effectively, violated the Constitution and should be called to account for it.

So, Mr. Lincoln, are you listening? Your beloved country is poised to perish from the earth, and the people who are supposed to govern themselves are so wrapped up in the magnificent playground they have created that they are too complacent to do anything but give their blessing.

More, on the Unelected President ...

Gotta make your own rules, child,
Gotta break your own chains.

[Kris Kristoffersen]

"Here is the rule. Obey it."
"I have obeyed. To the letter."
"Break it!"
"But I will have torn down the virtue I have built up by obeying the rule."
"Break the rule!"
"I have broken the rule. My virtue? What does it matter?"
"What do you want now?"
"What of the rule?"
"It will be kept. It is inevitable, for I seek nothing."

Counter of you guys have been here since January 17, 2003 (my 23,095th day).

Breaking Through (Andre Vandenbroéck):
Stone Age man is not so much man living in the Stone Age, as it is stone turned into man by the effect of the age, the post-Adamic. The rock is the basic stratum, the bottom of the pit that ends the Fall. The entity works its way back to the light and breaks through, a point comes when the entity separates from the stone, by seeing the rock as separate.


Genesis - the book of distinctions:
Waters above/waters below.
As soon as man is created, god puts him into an artificial environment, a garden - distinct from the raw natural environment of other creatures.
Adam's first activities are gardening (distinguishing plants) and naming (distinguishing every item of creation by name). These are forms of control, because of his insecurity (animals live entirely with what they're given; man is naked, has to make everything to meet his needs).
With the fall, god becomes insecure, because one distinction is lost - that between man and gods; both now know good and evil. So why did he create man in his image???

Updated December 9, 2006

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